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Side Effects of Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy has many common side effects.

Most side effects occur during treatment and begin to go away shortly after treatment ends. Others can last for months or even years.

How common and how severe the side effects are depend on the chemotherapy drugs used.

It may be helpful to download and print Susan G. Komen®‘s Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Chemotherapy and Side Effects resource and take it with you to your next doctor appointment. There’s plenty of space to write down the answers to these questions, which you can refer to later.

There are other Questions to Ask Your Doctor resources on many different breast cancer topics you may wish to download. They are a nice tool for people recently diagnosed with breast cancer, who may be too overwhelmed to know where to begin to gather information.

Learn about short-term side effects of chemotherapy.

Learn about long-term side effects of chemotherapy.

Easing worries about chemotherapy

It’s normal to worry about possible side effects of chemotherapy.

Talk with your health care provider about your concerns.

Your provider may be able to suggest a hospital social worker, patient navigator, psychologist or support group to help ease anxiety related to chemotherapy (or having breast cancer).

Learn more about support groups.

Managing side effects

Once you begin chemotherapy, let your oncologist or nurse know how the sessions are making you feel. They may be able to treat or prevent many side effects, or change your treatment plan to reduce them.

Learn more about managing side effects of chemotherapy and other breast cancer treatments.

 SUSAN G. KOMEN® SUPPORT RESOURCES 

  • If you or a loved one needs more information about breast health or breast cancer, call the Komen Breast Care Helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN (1-877-465-6636). All calls are answered by a trained specialist or oncology social worker in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET. You can also email the helpline at helpline@komen.org
  • We offer an online support community through our closed Facebook Group – Komen Breast Cancer group. The Facebook group provides a place where those with a connection to breast cancer can discuss each other’s experiences and build strong relationships to provide support to each other. Visit Facebook and search for “Komen Breast Cancer group” to request to join the closed group.
  • Komen Affiliates offer breast health education and some fund breast cancer programs through local community organizations. Your local Affiliate may also help you find breast cancer resources in your area. Find your local Affiliate
  • Our Family and Friends section has detailed information and resources for loved ones.
  • Our fact sheets, booklets and other education materials offer additional information.